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Gay Activists In Odesa Cancel Gay-Pride Festival After Court Ruling

Gay rights activists in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa says they will not go ahead with a planned gay-pride festival after a local court banned the event.

"The decision of the court is illegal and violates our constitutional right of assembly," Kyrylo Bodelan, a spokesman for the Odesa Pride group, told AFP on August 15.

Bodelan said that the group would instead hold a public discussion on the history of the gay-rights movement in the city.

The gay-pride event was blocked on August 13 by a local court in the Black Sea port city which argued it could lead to violence.

Two months after far-right activists attacked demonstrators at a small lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) march in Kyiv, there had been hopes among organizers and supporters of gay rights that the August 13-16 events would be protected under the city's new pro-Western governor, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Saakashvili's administration has said the matter is one for city authorities to handle.

Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL